Some parents upset about Bellingham School District’s policy on students with head lice

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BELLINGHAM -- Some parents strongly disagree with the Bellingham School District's policy to encourage children infected with head lice to go to school.

District officials changed the policy regarding lice just last year. Before, children with lice were sent home from school. Now, the district encourages parents to bring their children to school if they do have lice so they can continue to learn.

Steve Morse, a spokesman for the district, said, "It’s more of a nuisance than a disease or a big health concern and we just feel it's important for kids to be at school and get their education."

But many parents say this will only make the growing problem regarding lice even worse.

Jane Poppensiek, a concerned grandmother, said, "I really think that once it’s discovered, they should probably stay home until it’s taken care of."

Jane's granddaughter suffers from an extreme case of epilepsy. She has a strict diet and can only use special soaps and shampoos. Treating head lice in her household could be very dangerous.

"She has a disability and we have to be very careful on what medicines she takes or what she comes into contact with. To use the lice-killing formula on her could be very serious," she said.

District officials say if a parent chooses to keep a child home from school with lice, it will be considered an excused absence and that student will not be penalized.

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  • marla seiler

    Its more of a nuisance ???? how about the amount of work and expense it generates for the other families whos kids become exposed??? I had 6 kids go through the schools and and one time or another someone brought it home. Have you ever read and followed the proper instructions for treating EVERYONE in the household? For us it was 8 of us! Thats 8 boxes of toxic chemicals at 6 t 10 bucks a piece. Then there are the 8 beds to wash all blankets, linens and pillows. then you get to vacuum thoroughly the mattresses. After that you get to vacuum thoroughly all carpets in the entire house as well as couches, easy chairs and of course the car!!Then you get to collect up all stuffed animals and either wash them or seal in large plastic bags for 2 weeks. I dont know about you but I didnt always have big trash bags, so theres another trip to the store and another 5Bucks or so.{Not to mention the amount of time you kids spend crying because they cant sleep without teddy!} And all this washing requires a trip to the Laundromat, so as to not reinfect the house by not washing it all quick enough.And if your really gonna do a thorough job theres the backpack and coats to consider as well. Have you ever had to wash that much stuff at the laundromat??? Its really expensive at approximately% dollars a load to wash then 25 cents for about 3 minutes of drying time. Im sure I wasnt the only family who was on a strict budget during those school years . The whole thing an ordeal of time consuming, back breaking labor and expense only to find out that the other kids in class who had it were allowed back into class with untreated headlice??? Thanks district officials for your dedication to education at the unreasonable time frame of a day or so of missed school!

  • The Decider

    I would pull my kids out of this district. Clearly school officials are on crack. And do that many children miss school because of lice to the point the school is worried about days missed because of it? What the!?

  • kelly

    It’s easy to spread. All the kids jackets are lined up in the hallwsys in a 4 of at the neck line. They just travel from jacket to jscket. Bring back the good stuff to get rid of them. My niece goes there and her three sisters are always dealing with it..

  • Tiffany

    That is why I will be homeschooling my child when she is older. Bellingham school district has gone down hill. No thinks I rather keep my child home then hear their lame excuses as to why they can’t send kids home who have lice. I use to have lice and they do jump so who ever says they don’t are lying.

    • jodie

      They do not jump. Their legs are to short. I I am a licensed cosmetologist and I can assure you the way that it is transferred is through contact such as little girls hugging each other or using each others hair brushes but not by jumping and actually nice prefer a clean head as opposed to a Jody one if you use straight tea tree oil it repels head lice to me it is ridiculous that everyone is having an uproar over this teach your children to not have contact such as a little girls hugging each other so much

  • Angela

    The CDC and the school nurse association recommend Not pulling kids out of school for lice. My daughter had it this school year and I am positive she got it from a sleepover, all the girls in her group of friends did, not at school.
    My child missed enough school from being sick from colds , I don’t want her to miss a couple of days for this if the leading authority on diseases says its ok.

  • Hearth and Homeschooling

    Turns out when this policy is implemented lice runs rampant through the schools! We have two public school neighbor friends attending separate schools who both got it and passed it on to our homeschooling family. It’s true that it’s a huge nuisance but it is also an extremely expensive nuisance! That shampoo is costly, needs repeating, and the whole family needs to be dosed. Lots of laundry needs to be done. I wish the Bellingham School District would revisit this open door policy to students with Lice!